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Image credit: Garmin

Garmin Speak Plus mixes Amazon Alexa with a dash cam

Talk to your car and record your trip at the same time.
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Garmin

Don't think it's enough to have Amazon Alexa in your car? Garmin thinks it has a better proposition: throw in a dash cam. Its new Speak Plus includes the same voice assistant that offers directions, music playback and other hands-free controls, but it also tucks in a camera that can both record "incidents" (read: collisions) and deliver alerts. It'll warn you if you're too close to a car, if you're drifting out of your lane or if that gridlocked traffic has finally started moving.

The Plus continues to pair with your smartphone to get online, and can use either Bluetooth or an aux cable to pipe music to your car's audio system. An OLED screen provides basic navigation details so you don't miss a turn.

Not surprisingly, the addition of the camera raises the price. The Speak Plus will sell for $230 when it ships in mid-February ($200 if you pre-order by February 10th), or well over the $150 for the original Speak. But it might make more sense. Many people are content with mounting their phone and using its built-in assistant, and there's not much point to Speak if you have a vehicle with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, dash cams are a different story -- this gives you some useful safety and insurance features in addition to keeping your eyes on the road while you drive to an unfamiliar destination.

Garmin Speak Plus

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